Thanks everyone for the inputs! He takes a moment before putting his head down when I put pressure on his poll. When he puts his head down I bring either the halter or bridle up to his face which then causes him to lift his head again. I'm guessing I just keep putting pressure (releasing when he lowers as a reward, of course) and trying to put the halter on until he learns to keep his head down for it?
I am beginning to think its a tooth problem. Turns out he hasn't been floated since 2011, the poor guy. For some reason she had the vet come out to float all of her other horses teeth but not the one that I'm working and possibly purchasing in the next month. Doesn't make sense. Anyways, I'm able to massage the roof of his mouth, his gums, and his lips with my thumb but the second a bit comes near his mouth he jerks away. I use a full cheek snaffle bit that has the more rounded shape that fits more to the curve of the mouth vs. the straight across bit. It's nothing harsh.
Do you guys have more suggestions about taking the bridle off that would better prevent him from moving away quickly? I'll try keeping his head lowered through it all but it's difficult.
Until he gets his teeth floated should I look into a bridle with no bit?
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